Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Every Heart a Doorway

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If you’ve spent your childhood wanting to be Alice, Dorothy or any of the Narnia siblings, then (a) You’ve wanted to escape your life really bad, and (b) you’ve probably noticed how these stories always just end once the children come back to the real world after their magical adventures to parallel universes. The narratives usually leave you feeling bittersweet and elegiac at the end; seldom, if ever, do they talk about what becomes of these children after they return to their real world. Every Heart a Doorway answers all these questions and deals with children’s feelings once they return.

Continue reading “Book Review: Every Heart a Doorway”

Posted in Book Reviews

Everything I never told you by Celeste Ng

So I just very randomly opened up the drafts of my blog section and found this book review lying unpublished. Like how could I have not posted this?? (The “schedule later” section is silently and wickedly looking at me like ‘i told you so, hun’) *sighs*

Now I finally know when Schedule Later could come into handy.


So thoughts on Celeste Ng’s debut novel, huh?

When it first came out, I remember there was a quite a rage about it in the book community. From topping Amazon’s 100 best books of the year to being a New York Times Notable book, it was quite clear that the author would come out soon with another of her book which would be equally ravishing to read. And well, Little Fires Everywhere, was indeed a treat.

So because I read this book a little time back, I don’t remember a lot about it but I will try to articulate my words as clearly as possible. The story takes place in America in the 1970’s during a time when there was a rising issue about the acceptance and treatment of American born Chinese and follows a journey of a similar family trapped between the hinges of being a native American while also staying close to their Chinese roots. It is a heartfelt story of family, identity, race-ethnicity. The narrative starts with the murder of the oldest daughter in the family who’s body was found drowned in the lake. The rest of the book deals with the aftermath of this tumultous incident and its impact on each of the family members. From here, the story goes in a reverse chronological order and we are led through the events that took place before the event which ultimately lead to Lydia committing her suicide. It tackles issues of all kinds that an American teenager of an immigrant background has to face. From succumbing to societal pressures about being ‘a true American’ to family pressures about ‘being perfect, being successful and good on the exterior’ – it talks about real issues of race, color and your social identity. Knowing that it is the author’s own voice adds an extra edge to the story and makes the reader feel as if they’re reading a personalised account of events.

“How had it begun? Like everything: with mothers and fathers. Because of Lydia’s mother and father, because of her mother’s and father’s mothers and fathers.” 

One of the things I really liked about the book were the characters. A story is made tenfold more interesting if the characters are three-dimensional and relatable. In this book, it wasn’t like Malfoy or Harry Potter where you instantly just disliked or liked a character, you know? Over here, the build-up of each character is slow and deep, showing us complete reflections of everyone, taking it’s sweet time to make the readers understand the complexity of each character. Lydia’s way of showing everything was perfect on the outside and the reasons of her tormented relationship with her brother, Nath, is slowly but very subtly made clear to the readers.

“When a long, long time later, he stares down at the silent blue marble of the earth and thinks of his sister, as he will at every important moment of his life. He doesn’t know this yet, but he senses it deep down in his core. So much will happen, he thinks, that I would want to tell you.”

However, the most grief-stricken reaction evoking from the readers is by the character of Lydia’s youngest sister, Hannah. She seems to be like an outsider, a spectator in the beginning but slowly, as we our led to her train of thoughts, it dawns on us how much she has been ignored and how much the readers as well as the characters in the story have under-estimated her presence.

On the contrary, one thing that I really did not like is that the book sometimes get overly-descriptive which kind of drags the story. Like how many times do you have to show the people on the streets looking at Lydia to make a point that she feels like an outsider? As much as I felt that, it became a little repetitive after a while. Secondly, the blurb at the back of the book is really deceiving. I went into this book thinking it was a thriller or a murder mystery, but look how different it turned out to be. So because my expectations of the book were very different, I think that somehow hindered me from “loving” this book.

And then there was this whole ending which I hated. I hated it because it was so abrupt leaving so many things unsettled. I think the end was somewhat symbolic of how deeply-rooted this issue of racism is and how it takes generations to alleviate this issue. But on the other hand, I really would have liked it if the author had provided some kind of an epilogue where we would have known if this particular incident made the parents realise and see their mistakes (lowkey REALLY wanted to know how Hannah was doing!!)

My Rating: 3.5/5

You should really read it though if you’re looking for a good complex family read + this book has good writing-style so that’s always one reason why you should read a book.


Let me know your thoughts about the book if you’ve read it! 

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Posted in Bookish Thoughts

Book-to-Movie adaptations I’m excited for in 2019 – bec it’s always fun to see characters come to life

Fun to see characters come live – but also secretly critique on the inappropriateness of the acting??? Or change of dialogues? Or plot-holes??

Aaah, these kind of posts are my favourite to write because I have so much to write! I love love love comparing and contrasting. All kinds. Comparing types of coffee. Comparing types of different book covers. Comparing adaptations, and then ofc characters and their acting! It’s so fun to see how these people will make characters come to life, and also equally frustrating to see bad acting and plot-holes. I feel like such a critic doing that haha. I did one of these posts for The Hate U Give, if you’re interested you can check it out here!

Continue reading “Book-to-Movie adaptations I’m excited for in 2019 – bec it’s always fun to see characters come to life”

Posted in Book Reviews

The Hate U Give – Book + Movie Review

So I finally read one of the most talked about books in the community and it goes without saying that I loved this book! I also watched the movie and decided to do a book-to-movie adaptation post. So bear with me, this is gonna be a tad bit looongg!

You know how there are some books which have out of this world, nerve wracking, pitted with emotions and reality-based plot AND characters or some books which contain an important social message solely exist to equip you with the “world-is-changing-so-things-need-to-change” talk? Imagine reading a book which is BOTH. The Hate U Give is one of those beauties, and every person, teenage or adult, black or white, Muslim or Christian should read it.

The book is based on the Black Lives Matter Movement in America and tells about the situation of the black people living there through the life of a 16-year old girl, Starr Carter, who witnessed the shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil.

Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right. “


Now I have never seen someone die, or been in a situation where my heart would ache for a loved one like Starr’s did so even though I couldn’t relate to it on a personal level, Angie Thomas’s writing was so raw, authentic and overflowing with real emotions, that it almost felt like Khalil was my best friend! Reading this book was truly a mind-blowing experience. You could almost visualise the grocery story where Starr worked, hear the gunshots in Garden Heights, smell the delicious aroma of Mr.Rueben’s burgers, feel the tension in the air when the cops held Khalil. It made me realise that there are so many problems in this world to which we are oblivious to and I’m glad that people are now writing about it!!! We need to know these issues so we, as people, can make a change.

Another beautiful thing about the book is how light humour, fun and everyday family fanatics have been packed into the dialogues. I loved the banter between Starr’s parents, especially the sassiness of her mom. Like damn son, she was savage! I absolutely LOVED HER. It just makes my heart explode with satisfaction when I see such powerful, witty female characters. It was such a change from the non-existent parents that are usually found in YA novels.

The relationship of Starr with each of her family member was also very dynamic. I loved how her thoughts were written out, what she thought of Seven’s girlfriend, or how Seven would hide her “white-boyfriend-stuff” from their dad, or even cute little Sekani eating up all the bacon. It put a very warm ring to the whole story.

I think I’ll rate the book: 4.5/5

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Ok, so the thing with reading a book prior to watching it’s movie is that when you’re watching the movie, you’re constantly comparing the entire thing with the book. Like “no they didn’t kiss in the book!” Or “no that’s not how they met!” which can suck at times because it takes away the whole impact that the movie is trying to make. I mean like ofcourse the movie can’t portray emotions like the book does, duh. We can’t read about feelings in a movie, so that part is solely dependant on the actors. And let me tell you, Amandla Stenberg did a brilliant job of an angsty, frustrated black teen who’s continuously shifting between two social identities – the “girl from the hood” and the “cool black Williamson girl”.

The movie is successful in portraying the major themes of the book: police brutality, childhood emotional trauma, importance of the lives of marginalised groups and low-key appreciation of Tupac’s songs (that shit is brilliant, my friend has legit been trying to get me to listen to Tupac and I think now’s the time I do that???) But most of all, what makes this story bat-shit awesome is that it’s a girl being a hero.

Now I know, that lately there have been quite a lot of books/movies with strong female leads but they’re also all some sort of a secret assassin/ninja/hacker who’s fighting with all the evil villains of the world and trying to save that one boyf/parent/friend etc. I mean as much as that’s rad and cool, that shit ain’t real! The Hate U Give, and the way Starr projects her rage and trauma into speaking for her people’s rights, testifying in front of the grand jury is real damn courage!! And really, hats off to the director and the actors for connecting with the emotions of the text and projecting them onto the wide screen!

But. (Ofcourse there is a but…told u this would be long.)


  • Where is DeVante?

I think DeVante served a much larger purpose than just being Kenya’s boy-toy. Compared to the book, DeVante has zero appearance in the movie except for a teeny tiny 2-min scene in the beginning. In the book however, we see how DeVante is the one who makes Starr realise why Khalil dealt drugs, whether he a part of the King Lords, and also he’s the one beaten up by the King Lords in the end during the riots and not Seven (as in the movie!)

Also, he makes a good charity case for Uncle Carlos when he takes in DeVante under his roof when the King Lords were after his life. It kinda served as Uncle Carlos’s guilt of trying to makeup for what the police did to Khalil and how he couldn’t do anything at the time.

So I guess I probably would have liked to see DeVante in the movie too, yknow?


  • Exchange between Uncle Carlos and Starr 

Book:  Uncle Carlos tells Starr, “I hate that I let myself fall into that mind-set of trying to rationalize his death. And at the end of the day, you don’t kill someone for opening a car door. If you do, you shouldn’t be a cop.”

Movie: Uncle Carlos is basically trying to justify Officer Brian’s actions (the cop who shot at Khalil), by saying that the cops are usually put in a position where they don’t know what to expect from the other person? So whatever he did, he did it to protect himself. However, uncle Carlos did conclude with the note that if it was a white boy instead of Khalil, he wouldn’t have shot him.

I think they twisted around the words a bit to take a more neutral stance and not be bused towards the police? Or else the movie would have been criticised to be more critical towards the police force rather than the message it was trying to put. I mean, yeah uncle Carlos did explain it well so I guess I was sort of indifferent to the change here.



 This is a major spoilerrrrrr.


This part of the movie was my absolute favourite! The directors took the whole “THUG LIFE” (The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody) to an entirely new level – an idea that Khalil introduces to Starr on the night he’s killed. It’s the notion that everyone suffers when the children who have been imbued with hate and anger become a menace to society. I don’t want to give the scene away (watch it for yourselves!) but it was the peak of rising emotion and one of the few scenes in Hollywood cinema that I would call ‘iconic’.

 Truly, this addition was my favourite cuz it just makes the message so damn C.L.E.A.R!

So all-in-all, I think good job for the movie.

Totally recommended ✅

But if you can read the book first, do that first! It’s also slightly more humorous than the movie has let on.

That’s my take on the whole adaptation thing guys. I hope you liked this post! Share any thoughts that you guys have on the movie or book. Would love to chat with you!!!

Posted in Bookish Thoughts

My 2019 bookish resolutions

A Happy New Year to everyone!!

Last night I was in bed, thinking of everything that happened in 2018 and holy hell I realised the whole year passed by like a tornado!!! I honestly can’t believe how quickly this year ended. It seems not long ago, i signed up for the 2018 Blacklist challenge and very confidently told myself “oh I have a whole damn year to finish these 20 books. Easy scenes” but well, look at me now looking back at the blacklist with an “No way has 2018 ended and I still didn’t make it!!!!”

I have realised that I overwhelm myself with a lot of lists and plannings. This time, however, even though I am going to plan (ofc, whats a new year without resolutions?) I am going to make realistic plans, and whole-heartedly work towards achieving them.

With that said,


“Managing my Goodreads Reading Goal”

My Goodreads Goal for 2019 is once again, 40 books.

Now, that’s only possible if I actually make an active effort to take out atleast an hour out of my day to do my reading. So, I have decided that I either wake up 30 mins earlier than usual (depends on how early my classes are for next semester) or I read for an hour after dinner. I have made a January timeline, ticking off days where I’m reading an hour after dinner-time.

If I manage to do this for most of January, my reward will be: I can order a new book! (LMAOOO)

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“Read more Classics”

I made this really cool “Classics to Read” printable for myself which i have pasted on my dorm room wall. I know, I know they are like a lot of classics for me to finish over the year, but if I manage to read atleast one classic per month, I’ll be done with what….12 classics??? That’s pretty much fine, considering I have a British and Irish Fiction course next semester, so that will also cover Orwell and Aldous Huxley. Yikes!!

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“Reading Books I already own” 

So I suffer from this thing which I’m sure is strange to none of you, and that is, “The Disease of Book Hoarding.” With love for books and exquisite book-covers comes this affliction too, but well, it isn’t good. I have around 87 unread books but I still have my eye on that one book which is on the bookshelves of the bookshop that I’m trying not to go to. I mean how many will I buy?????? (Please for my sanity don’t answer, this is just rhetorical)


I am not buying another book until I read atleast 10 books I own. 10 seems like a fair number for the deal.


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“Finish the Harry Potter Series (books + movies)”

Yeah, I think it’s high-time I do this. I have read till Prisoner of Azkaban so I think finishing the series would be do-able? I’ll also do a book vs the movie series so stay tuned!! (I am raising everyone’s hopes so high, I really hope I am able to commit to it)


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“Post twice a week on the blog.” 



So that’s all for my resolutions for the year!

QOTP: Are there any resolutions that you want to stick to?



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Posted in Uncategorized

Podcasts are my new obsession this winter!

Hi all! The title of my blog should really be, “the MIA blogger”, I swear. I try so hard to post every once in a week, but I am always drowned in readings, assignments and my very happening theatre life. And every once in a blue moon when I do get a long weekend due to some chance blessing God bestows upon me, I choose to spend it either binge-watching Gilmore Girls and FRIENDS or ofcourse, listening to hours and hours of podcasts.

Therefore, I apologise for my lack of posts on this utmost forgiving platform of book bloggers.

So now that you have considerably decided to let my laziness and irresponsibility go, Let’s dive into my new obsession with podcasts!!!




I’ll tell you why podcasts > blogging/reading has become the norm of my life.

One thing always stands out to me when it comes to listening to podcasts is, that I get to listen to people discuss specific topics within a restricted amount of time, and because it’s mostly guest speakers talking about their experiences, struggles or something they love, it is very informative and fun to listen to. It’s like watching National Geographic or CNN but with all the banality removed.

There are podcasts of all kinds: News-based, TedxTalks, fiction stories, business and cultural insights; basically something for everyone.

If you want to ever give podcasts a try, listen to the ones down below. These are some of my personal favourites, and I hope you enjoy them!


Narrated by Aaron Mankhe

Lore is an American anthology which talks about frightening history behind common folklore. All of the episodes are unique and 17-35 minutes long, each addressing a different tale rooted deeply in myths and folktales. From the origin of the phrase “Saved by the bell” and the inspiration behind Bram Stoker’s Dracula, to talking about the Salem Witch trials in 17th century France, Aaron Mankhe makes each one of these episodes extremely interesting and eerie to listen to.

Lore earned the “Best of 2015” from Itunes, and in 2017, Vallhala Entertainment developed a short television series which goes by the same name. Although not all the podcast episodes have been adapted to tv episodes, the ones which have been adapted are wonderfully executed by combining documentary footage and cinematic scenes to tell horror stories and their origins.

It’s a must watch guys, you won’t regret it!!!


Imaginary Worlds


Narrated by: Eric Molinsky

This should be a must-listen podcast for anyone who’s looking to talk about their favourite fantasy movie or novel. Eric invites various guests over and dives deep into the world of fantasy and science fiction with them. From discussing famous fictional worlds of Harry Potter and Hunger Games, to talking about long-running genre tropes of ‘Saving the Girl’ and ‘Sexy Robots’, imaginary worlds is an intriguing series that goes beyond the surface-level coverage of the genre.

What makes this podcast unique from all the others is, that it isn’t an extended interview or a talk-show style podcast. Instead, he mixes his reporting, clips, and interviews to form a nicely packaged story. For example one of his episodes, “Then they Fell” where he talks about immersive theatre (I never knew such a thing existed!!!) and shares his experience through a series of videos that he made when he went there.


The Allusionist


Narrator: Helen Zaltzman

This podcast speaks to the word nerd in everyone. Ranging from 15-30 min episodes, a lot of the questions are about the origins of a phrase, or why some languages are ignored and the difference between British/American accents and spellings (that personally, is my favourite topic to talk about)

Notable Episodes:

82- A Novel Remedy: Which book do you read to make yourself feel better? And why does it work? A clinical psychologist and a linguist talks about how patients in post-WW1 Britain were soothed by Agatha Christie novels.

78- Oot in the Open: Imagine you are born and raised in a household speaking particular language but then you go to school and that language is banned. Speaking that language will have physical and psychological repercussions – this my friend, is the predicament of the Scots language.

68- Curse Soup: Stephen Clews, manager of the Roman baths at Bath, shows us the curses that were sloshed around amongst people when they wanted to vent out their anger or frustration on someone. (This one’s a pretty funny and interesting podcast to listen to when one of your instructors’ is being irrational lol)


Lit Up

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Narrated by Angela Ledgerwood

The description of the podcast, on the iTunes Podcast, describes “Lit Up” as a sanctuary for people crazy about books, stories and the literary life. Angela Ledgerwood, talks to the world’s most provocative thinkers and writers about the power of stories, the importance of literature in 2018, and why they’re compelled to create the work they do.

Lit Up is also about pushing the boundaries and revealing the messy and complicated – rarely talked about – parts of what it means to be human. No topic is off the table and no conversation is too weird, too personal or too controversial. There have been writers like Mohsin Hamid talking about immigration and life in Pakistan and Anna Patchett, the writer of “Bel Canto” opening up about what inspires her fiction.


Posted in Book Tags, BookTags

Three Bookish Things Tag

Truth be told, it’s been ages since I’ve done a tag and I had this one poorly written with more than 3 answers for every question waiting to be edited in my draft, so I decided why not post this at 6 am in the morning because I have no classes at all today!!! (Rare satisfaction you get in university)

I’m lowkey tryna say that I don’t remember where I saw this tag so have got no-one to tag but if you’re reading this and I commented on this tag of yours, I LOVED THIS TAG AND THANKYOU FOR INTRODUCING ME TO THIS.


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Posted in Bookish Thoughts

Being MIA, Important decisions, and how much I missed blogging!!


I am back from my long long more-than-a-month unexpected hiatus! In the earlier days of my blog, i used to wonder how people can stay missing from their blog life for more than a week. I mean, if you’re not reviewing books so what?? Just post randomly about anything!

Continue reading “Being MIA, Important decisions, and how much I missed blogging!!”

Posted in Bookish Thoughts, Weekly Posts

This week in Literature (13th-19th Aug)

Hey guys! I’m back with another weekly update on the literary world.

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34445772   Image result for a river of stars   Image result for the winter of the witch  Image result for surviving adam meade

Image result for the looking glass janet mcnally   Image result for bring down the stars by emma scott  Image result for blind kiss renee carlino  Image result for How to Breathe Underwater

Trust me, there are waaayyyy too many to list down here and I’m just feeling too damn lazy to copy paste em all. I picked out the covers i loved of hahahaha. Kinda how i usually select book lmao.


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So I’m almost halfway through the book and I’m loving it! I love the drama that revolves around the elite classes, the hilarious banter on the dresses of the middle class people and the petty issues all the people in the book basically have. It’s like reading a Chinese version of Seventeen Magazine, except that the writing is witty, classy and superbly done.

The movie is ofcourse, filmed with ludicrous extravagance and colorful dynamism by Jon M. Chu, the man behind buzzy, disposable delights like Step Up 3D and Jem and the Holograms. The setting (Singapore) and the ensemble cast (which doesn’t feature a white actor after the first scene) are breaths of fresh air, but so is the fact that Hollywood can still churn out a winsome family rom-com when it wants to.

More over, after the directors turned down Netflix’s 7-figure pay-day from Netflix in order to air the movie on a big screen shows that they are clearly not going for money or fame but actually want to break the Hollywood stereotype and want this movie to be a big break for movies with an Asian cast. Considering that the stakes for CRA are crazy high, it’s phenomenal that the movie is going on theatres and giving out a much larger message.

The movie came out 2 days ago on the 15th of August in Canada. (I don’t know if it’s out yet in other parts of the world though). I personally, can’t wait to watch it!!!


In an interview, when asked why Gillian Flynn’s female protagonists have such disturbed personlaities, she replied she wanted it exactly that way. She was tired of seeing the “chick-lit” way of girls getting the guys and living happily ever after and wanted to break the archetype. Flynn is now a producer on the HBO series and wants to write about dark, complex characters. She admits that “Gone Girl” opened a door to a wider variety of female characters.

“I sat down to write the opposite. I mean, you never hear Camille (the protagonist) in Sharp Objects, talk about her show-wear. The girl we see is battling with her demons from her past – including her fraught relationship with her mom.”

Piece of advice: “If you think there’s a women not talked about enough in literature, just write it! That, to me, was the whole point.”

And personally, that’s some really wise words Flynn!!!

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Novelist Sir VS Naipaul, who won the Nobel Prize in literature, has died aged 85, his family have said.

Sir Vidia, who was born in rural Trinidad in 1932, wrote more than 30 books including A Bend in the River, An Area of Darkness and his masterpiece, A House for Mr Biswas.

His wife, Lady Naipaul, called him a “giant in all that he achieved”.

She said he died at his home in London “surrounded by those he loved, having lived a life which was full of wonderful creativity and endeavour”. (source: BBC)

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The honorary titles of “State Author and Poet” are bestowed every two years as a way to celebrate reading, writing and the arts. This year, in Albany, the Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that Colson Whitehead will serve as state author and Alicia Ostriker will be state poet.

Whitehead is a novelist whose most recent work is “The Underground Railroad.” He will succeed former state author Edmund White.

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Ostriker has written 16 poetry collections, with her latest titled “Waiting for the Light.” She takes over from former state poet Yusef Komunyakaa.

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That’s all for now guys. I’m heading off to sleep, university has started and the good-ol-days of lazing around have just ended. (sad sniffs)

-See ya’ll later!!!

Posted in Book Reviews

Norwegian Wood – Book Review

Haruki Murakami is my favourite author and Norwegian Wood is my fav book of the year so far. This book was perfection. From the plot and story-line, to the characters and the writing-style, Murakami did everything perfectly. (I’m ignoring the weird sexual tension that circulated most of the characters, though).

My rating: 4.5/5 stars

Continue reading “Norwegian Wood – Book Review”